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Nate's Mineshaft Wires Mineshaft Handicap

Windy Hill Farms’ Nates Mineshaft took advantage of soft early fractions and led at every point of call in a race named for the winner’s sire, the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap for older horses at 1 1/16 miles.


Jesse Campbell guided the longest shot on the board through fractions of 25.30, 49.35 and 1:13.59 before cruising home in a final time of 1:43.01, finishing 2 ¾ lengths to the good of Jim Tafel LLC’s Fast Alex.


“This horse has gotten so good,” Campbell said. “He’s improved so much in such a short time. He used to be a little rank. He lets me ride him now and the horse is just full of confidence.”


Nates Mineshaft, carrying 118 pounds, paid $29.60, $11.20 and $4, while Fast Alex returned $4.20 and $2.60. Alma d’Oro made up ground despite a troubled trip to finish third and pay $2.20.


Favored Thiskyhasnolimit, last month’s Louisiana Handicap winner, pulled up on the backstretch and was vanned off with an injury to his right-front leg. The horse was vanned to LSU for surgery. The incident caused Alma d’Oro to check nearing the half-mile pole.


Nates Mineshaft, now four-for-four lifetime at Fair Grounds, improved his overall record to 12-5-1-1 and boosted his earnings to $175,428.


“If you saw the last race, he was worth the opportunity to try him in here,” trainer Austin Smith said. “He just dominated that bunch. It wasn’t anything like this bunch but he is four-for-four on the racetrack and we were here and didn’t have to ship anywhere so we took a shot.”




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